Recently, there have been discussions around the use of social media platforms for hate speech and the role that these platforms play in dealing with these issues. Every social media platform is taking measures according to their platform as they can no longer get away with hosting this kind of content as users are calling them out for this.
Reddit, too made an announcement back in June sharing that they will be tackling the issue of hate speech on its platform head on. As per the initial step more than two thousand subreddits, known to be dodging the rules of the social news aggregation site were banned.
Following up on that initial step, Reddit has now shared additional updates, saying that the platform has seen an overall reduction of hateful comments by 18 per cent. They are calling the start of this new policy as the ban wave and have defined three main categories of the subreddits that have been banned.
1. Subreddits with names and descriptions that are inherently hateful.
2. Subreddits with a large fraction of hateful content.
3. Subreddits that positively engage with hateful content (these subreddits may not necessarily have a large fraction of hateful content, but they promote it when it exists).
According to Reddit, these subreddit categories saw an approximate viewership of 365k users per day before they were removed and as a result they see a positive impact on the overall health of the platform.
While it is indeed a step in the right direction, but this should not be taken as an action motivated by pure intentions alone. As mentioned earlier platforms are being forced to take stricter actions against hate speech because the users are now calling them out. For social media platforms the advertising money is connected to the engagement of their users. While Reddit has not been on the social media advertising game like the other main stream platforms, but give the direction the platform has been taking, chances are this is a key consideration for the new policies.